Sunday, 29 April 2012

Umbrian Painting Holiday

In 2006 I went on a painting holiday with a painter friend and our partners, we had a ball. The tutor was Robert Newcombe

That really was the start of my improvements, he gave me some tools and tips to progress which had never happened before despite having been to lessons for years!!! He was the person who explained why cauliflowers happened... no-one had ever explained that before and therein lies a fault of many art teachers.... they seem to assume an awful lot and don't seem to inform their students of some basic skills especially in watercolour. Note to self for when I do my workshops!!!!! I had also never had a tutor demonstrate anything and that was a real drawback as I am a visual learner!!

My efforts on the trip were nothing short of appalling but I still have them and to this day look back on them with terrific memories.  There were two other painters on the trip, a gentleman from Switzerland and another lady from England who were all brilliant company. This is a painting which I did shortly after we came back and at the time I was rather pleased with it. I  am glad to say I have moved on since then!!

BTW the buildings were a bit wonky looking as you see here... it wasn't my drawing skills that needed to improve, it has always been my painting!!!

This painting I actually did while we were there and is the only one that I remotely liked but Robert seemed to think I had improved during the trip so I was pleased with that. Obviously lots wrong with this but painting plein air was a whole new experience and more difficult than I had imagined.

Finally this was another I did some time after we came home and again it showed some improvement... I took photos of all the views we did on site so that I could come back and compare my efforts as it was my intention to do them again. Am really too embarrassed to post what I did there and Robert was so complimentary and encouraging!!! I  will send him a link to this as I think he might be pleased with his wayward student!!!

This was an old derelict chapel which we painted while there.....again I cringe at my efforts then and hopefully I have also improved since I did you can see I used to have a problem painting trees, am a bit better now but used to avoid them like the plague.... have done lots of practice and while they wouldn't be my favourite subject, I can now manage them. There is another story about this painting but that is for another blog, just wanted to wet your appetites!!!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Colour Planets

I spend a lot of time mixing little "planets" to try out different combinations for my work. I just drop paint in wet in dry or wet in wet and leave the colours to mix...... I DO NOT go back in with my brush once the colours are mixing otherwise I start to get mud!!

These planets are an example of what I do, I have pages and pages of these which I can then come back to when I want to see what colours will work well for a particular piece of work...don't worry, I won't bore you with them all!!!!!  These have 3 colours mixed, I do tend to use transparent paint  but I still don't get mud even with opaques or semi opaques. The secret is not to fiddle with it, to let the paint and water do the work on the paper

You can try this with any colours and you will be amazed how many beautiful combinations and effects you can get with colours that would be so dull and uninteresting if you tried mixing them together in the palette.
Give it a go and you will find your work will move on to a different level!!!

Ps if you double click on the images you will be can see the colours used

Monday, 23 April 2012

Jean Haines Challenge

Well it didn't take long for this to come out of the woodwork but if I can't share on my own blog then where else can I?!?

Jean offered one or two challenges on her own blog last year and I was lucky enough to have been chosen as her favourite for this one... this is the link

I was gobsmacked to be featured, this was one of my first attempts at the painting and as sometimes happens I ended up doing umpty million and still liked the first one best.... I don't seem to learn from my mistakes and most of the ones I like seem to be happy accidents!!!! Anyway as you can imagine was thrilled to bits that Jean liked this enough to choose as her favourite.

Check out the rest of her blogs if you really want to see some fantastic watercolour work